TVD’s 9 weeks of vinyl giveaways, Week 8: Panda Bear, Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper

As we noted upon the launch of our first of 9 weeks of vinyl giveaways, it’s easy to forget that going on 8 years now when TVD was in its year one (as was Record Store Day) the vinyl medium wasn’t “back,” sales weren’t stellar, and indeed record stores were a fading lot. No, worse actually. Shops we’re closing at such a clip, their disappearance literally informed the launch of the site you’re reading at present.

And as we’ll repeat for 9 weeks—vinyl and record stores go hand in hand. Their shared intrinsic value is the cultural commodity and the bedrock of any local music scene. Don’t believe us though…hit up your locals and the marriage becomes crystal clear. 

But we too have been overwhelmed with the resounding popular and prevalent headlines as to vinyl’s big resurgence, yet they also arrive in tandem with far less rosy headlines such as “Starbucks to Open in Former Bleecker Street Records Space”—and worse, some very bad ideas when one advocates for record shops have, of late, become internet fodder. (Seriously, vinyl subscription clubs are the Carson Daly of record collecting.)

As such, picking up with an old TVD favorite, we’ve lined up 9 (count ’em, 9) weeks of vinyl giveaways as we count down to Record Store Day 2015 to redouble our efforts to underscore the viability and the inherent need for your local brick and mortar record shops to remain the vibrant community touchstone that they intrinsically are. And while we kinda hate hanging out by the mailbox waiting for a record to show up (unless you’ve ordered it from a mom and pop or directly from a label!) we’re shipping out records for 9 weeks straight as sweet reminders that record stores are literally where it’s at.

As Pitchfork noted last January, “On his latest venture, the tension between inner peace and external pressure reaches boss-battle proportions. Lifting its main-event billing from old King Tubby records, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper serves a similar function for its creator as Slasher Flicks did for Avey Tare—it’s a playful, fantastical response to some serious life changes. In Portner’s case, it was divorce and strep throat; for Lennox, it’s the entry into middle age and the substantial familial responsibilities that go with it. In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Lennox pondered the possibility of retiring the Panda Bear moniker, which makes sense—part of getting older is doing away with your old college nicknames. But if that is indeed the case, Panda Bear is not going down without a fight.

“…Taken as a whole, Grim Reaper feels like a gradual process of Lennox trying to tune out the extraneous noise of modern life and focus on what’s truly important to him. And it’s an evolution mirrored by the album’s sequence, which bookends the most boisterous, beat-driven songs around two stunning centerpiece tracks—”Tropic of Cancer” and “Lonely Wanderer”—that provide Grim Reaper with an extended and well-earned moment of quiet contemplation. The former is a cosmic doo-wop serenade that stands as the most affecting and beautiful vocal performance of Lennox’s career; the latter projects a gorgeous, aqueous tranquility unheard from the Animal Collective camp since side two of Feels, its light piano drizzle summoning thundercloud rumbles of foreboding reverberations.”

Enter to win Panda Bear’s Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper—the 3LP Deluxe Edition—by citing in the comments below your favorite “transitional” LP, and briefly—why.

We’ll choose one enthusiastic brick and mortar supporter with a North American mailing address for the LP a week from today, April 13. Our winner will be notified directly via email. 

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  • http://www.selfnarrate.com Brandon Telg

    My favorite transitional album is Sufjan Stevens’ Age of Adz. Although his new album (Carrie And Lowell) indicates that he’s decided to strip back to his essentials, the bombast and experimental electronics of Age of Adz show a man working out all of his ideas, which span musical movements and directions.

  • saeros0l

    My favorite transitional LP so far is “After the Disco” by Broken Bells which plays to a lot of my favorite sounds which isn’t a surprise when creative-geniuses Danger Mouse and founder of the Shins come together. With influences of indie and space rock, this album truly delivers.

  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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